Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Review/Matched by Ally Condie

Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Cassia has always trusted the Society to make the right choices for her: what to read, what to watch, what to believe. So when Xander’s face appears on-screen at her Matching ceremony, Cassia knows with complete certainty that he is her ideal mate . . . until she sees Ky Markham’s face flash for an instant before the screen fades to black.

The Society tells her it’s a glitch, a rare malfunction, and that she should focus on the happy life she’s destined to lead with Xander. But Cassia can’t stop thinking about Ky, and as they slowly fall in love, Cassia begins to doubt the Society’s infallibility and is faced with an impossible choice: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path that no one else has dared to follow. (publisher's summary from Powell's Books)

What happens when most of the difficult choices in life are no longer a problem, when where you live, what you eat, who you marry, and when and how you die are all decisions made for you? Allie Condie’s debut novel, Matched, examines just such a world and the result is the first book of a speculative fiction trilogy that has an extremely well-crafted plot, reminiscent of The Giver, and 1984.

Condie’s presents a utopian world where choice is no longer necessary because it is all performed scientifically, and results in the “equal” treatment of all its citizens. However, utopias do not exist and as Condie begins to carefully plot out the Society for her readers, the utopia  ideology  reveals a dysptopian world where its citizens are constantly monitored even while they dream. Condie’s world-building was flawlessly executed and makes Matched an incredible addition to YA literature.

In addition to Condie’s meticulously crafted world, her characters were for the most part well-developed. Cassia, the main character and narrator at first epitomizes a model citizen. She is excited over being matched with he childhood friend Xander and beginning a promising future as a sorter like her father and grandmother. However once the seeds of rebellion are planted, first by the a glitch in the matching process, and then by her grandfather, who before he dies, leaves her with a forbidden poem by Dylan Thomas and tells her it is OK to wonder, Cassia begins to doubt the very fabric of her Society’s rules. In the end, Cassia grows from total acceptance to someone who wants everything denied by the Society and becomes a true heroine making decisions that greatly effect the outcome of not only her future, but the future of everyone close to her.

While on a whole I really enjoyed Matched and feel that it has a beautifully constructed plot and is extremely well written, I did, however, have a problem with the love triangle. Even though Condie does provide background for Cassia’s affections for Xander, and her connection to Ky, I felt that Cassia’s passion and emotions were not adequately explored. Since this is only the first book in the trilogy, I hope to see more attention to this in the next book.

Matched is a fantastic addition to YA’s dystopian genre, and although I do feel the romantic aspect needed more development, the story’s overall impact is still very powerful.  Not only would I recommend this book to all YA audiences, but I will be anxiously awaiting the second book in the series.

Source: ARC copy received from We Love YA Tours




18 comments:

Lori said...

I really enjoyed Matched. I agree that there could have been more development when it came to the romance. That just makes me want the 2nd book even more!

Great review!!

Irena @ This Miss Loves to Read said...

I'm beginning to realize that YA dystopian fiction is really wonderful. I have other books to read this year, but I hope I'll have the time to read some YA dystopia fiction next year. Thanks for pointing this one out! I really like your review. You always make good books sound REALLY good. Since this is a series, the author might correct the not-so-good parts in the sequel, which is always a possibility and a great thing about book series. Great review and thanks for sharing!

Nomes said...

lovely concise review Jan - I'm so looking forward to this one. I think I'm psyched about it b/c of the premise and the cover - but not overly expectant - which means I hopefully will not be disappointed :)

x

Suey said...

Oh man, this reminds me that I need to write a review of this one very soon too! Sounds like we felt about the same.

anjohnston said...

This one has always reminded me of 1984 and The Giver as well. I can't wait to read it. So glad that the society feels real, the characters are developed and the plot is good. Sad to hear you weren't wild about the love triangle though. Thanks for the honest review!

Melissa said...

Excellent and balanced review, Jan! I've been dying to read this one, but I'll definitely keep your comments in mind :)

Jenny N. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jenny N. said...

Nice review! Been wanting to read this one for so long.

Rhianna said...

I've been really looking forward to this book so thank you so much for the review Jan. Matched sounds very promising as a series. :D

Mrs. DeRaps said...

I loved it and can't wait for the next book in this series. Thanks for your review--I am excited to see what happens with the romance as well.

thebookfairyhaven said...

I really, really cannot wait for this book. I have yet to see a negative review for this book and I'm happy to see that you loved this even though you felt the romantic plot could have been more developed. Must make a note to get this one asap!

Staci said...

This is one that I want to read now. I like dystopian but it has to be well-written and this sounds like it might be.

Katrina L. Lantz said...

This has been on my TBR list for a while, but I had no idea it was a series! Now I'm even more excited to read it! Dystopians are fun, in an intense, spooky sort of way. Thanks for the review!

Kylie said...

Great review and very timely in my case. I've just finished a book (and reviewed it on my blog if you are interested) about a religion where the head of the church does have final say in who you marry. Have added matched to my ever growing list!

Kelly said...

I've been wanting to read Matched for an age! Can't wait for it to be released here :) Thanks for the great review!

Christina T said...

Fantastic review! Good point about the love triangle/romance. For me it took a back seat to the world building. Definitely one of my favorite debuts of the year.

Teddyree said...

I love YA dystopian and this is one I can't wait to read so I'm glad to see you enjoyed it.

The1stdaughter said...

Now that I've written my review for this one I can actually go around to read everyone's reviews. I loved your review, truly! We do share quite a bit of the same feelings about the book. I'm definitely eager to read the second book in hopes that it will develop a little more of the emotional side of things. Outside of that it was incredible writing and world-building.

Fantastic review! :o)

 
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